(1997)

Critic Reviews

63

Metascore

Based on 23 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
88
ReelViews
Thematically rich, impeccably crafted, and intellectually stimulating, the only area where this movie falls a little short is in its emotional impact.
88
USA Today
Sheer power, moral and otherwise. It possesses a massively majestic hero. [10 Dec 1997, p.D1]
70
Time
Alive to the--yes--sometimes humorous, and therefore humanizing, struggles of the slaves and their would-be rescuers to surmount the language and cultural barriers that separate them. [15 Dec 1997, p. 108]
70
Variety
Aiming to instruct as well as entertain --- and often struggling to reconcile these two divergent goals.
63
Scenes go on and on in endless, witless dialogue, ever accompanied by John Williams' hideously gushing music.
60
Slate
After an electrifyingly feral opening, the movie settles down into a cogent courtroom drama, with no real cinematic highs but no jaw-dropping lows, either.
60
Consistently earnest and well-intentioned but only occasionally moving, despite the efforts of a generally top-notch cast.
60
Although the movie is moving and even funny in many places, it's also overextended. And composer John Williams's syrupy score practically oozes from your ears on the drive home.
50
Spielberg uses a more conventional format than he did in the stripped-down black-and-white "Schindler's List,'' and delivers a film that veers between stoic political correctness and mushy pop-Hollywood platitudes.
30
Salon.com
A little like looking at pictures without a text to unify them… Prestige filmmaking bereft of inspiration -- sometimes even of the nuts and bolts of craft.

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